signal links are junk.

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KA1BSZ, Jan 7, 2018.

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  1. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought they were touchy and 'junk' until my dad showed me that lowering a setting in the computer soundcard from 100% to more like 20% actually lets you move the knobs more than a gnat's hair without wild results.

    They work just fine.

    Newer rigs have the USB out on them so I don't use them, but once I got it dialed it, it was always good.
    W4NNF likes this.
  2. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try adjusting the soundcard drive, much lower, like 20%. Made a huge difference.
  3. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    In addition to the above, make sure to reduce the level on receive, to 0dB. Windows see the chip used in the Signalink USB (the same used in a number of transceivers with built in soundcard) as a microphone, and adds an additional 30dB gain. This impacts performance in a negative way.

    Other than these level adjustments, it still ranks as one of my best hamradio purchases.
    WQ2H and K3RW like this.
  4. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I do prefer the SCU-17, (and the 991 now has one in it) but I do have several SignaLinks for mobile use and presentations.

    Never had an issue with them, once you get them adjusted correctly. Reasonable price too.
  5. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I first attempted digital modes, I bought a PSK-232SC. I tried and tried and could not get it to work. I didn't blame the product or anyone else. It was simply too complicated for me.

    I then bought a SignaLink USB. And it worked. And worked well. It's just that I couldn't run all my software at the same time. Even with virtual ports. Probably fixable, but beyond my sensibility.

    Then I bought a Rigblaster but it sits on the shelf, never tried it. Because I found something IMHO even better.

    The Microham Microkeyer II, which despite the name is also ( and it seems primarily ) a data controller with USB device router. The wiring harness for the MKII replaces a whole bunch of cables, allows all my software to run at the same time, and has been a real blessing to this ( middle-aged ) dinosaur. Thanks to the Microham USB device router, I am beginning to think I might actually understand what I am doing, or at least have the illusion of understanding. For me it made "digital" fun again.
  6. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

  7. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think the OP ever showed back up, but as I mentioned, the price he quoted sounded like he bought one of the old SL-1+ units, which is similar to the MFJ unit he listed, but not the same as the Signalink USB.
  8. N5BCN

    N5BCN Ham Member QRZ Page

    K3RW and VA3VF: thanks for the suggestions. However, both of these measures have been implemented and I still don't get much range out of TX knob. I set the soundcard drive just above the level that trips the SignaLink's vox circuitry (around 15%). Ultimately, my scenario probably requires the resistor mod.
  9. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    Sorry if this sounds redundant, but you have multiple places where the TX level can be adjusted. It also depends on the software used.

    In addition to the TX knob on the Signalink USB, there is the CODEC level in the computer. Disable all 'enhancements' with the CODEC.

    If you use WSJT-X/JTDX, there is a power slider, make sure it's all the way up. If you use FLDIGI, the default installation adds 3 dB attenuation, change it to zero. Other packages may have something similar.
    K3RW likes this.
  10. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, it can be a bear to adjust. And its not always clear what I actually needed to adjust, be it the soundcard, software, which version of Windows or other O/S you're using, the rig interface, all of these to varying degrees, or even something else. Change rigs or computers and its like completely starting over, unless you can save the profile settings successfully in Fldigi and WSJT-X, which I have struggled to do. My dad's settings on his same rig were different due to the PC he was using.

    But as for the SignaLink, so far that's my only criticism of it. But once I got it, I was quite pleased with it. But my newer rigs have it built-in. I've not used a different interface to see if they work better, and won't now since its hardware I don't need. I suspect I might have the same or even more problems with something else.

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